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(Australian Associated Press)
Fancy being a king in your own royal palace? Or enjoying a private island paradise with a personal celebrity chef? Or skiing virgin slopes in Antarctica?
Virtually any travel experience is possible if your pockets are deep enough. And obscenely rich travellers with vast imaginations are finding ever-more-captivating ways to spend their leisure time.
Wealthy ski enthusiasts would have been excited last week by the launch of an exclusive sail and ski expedition to Antarctica by Chimu Adventures, departing Argentina in November 2017.
This trip is not for the everyday skier. For starters, you need $32,205.
But in exchange you can enjoy a 28-day tailor-made trip for a tiny group of people on the wildest continent on earth.
Antarctic ski expeditions operate out of yachts, so as well as cash, you’ll also need an adventurous spirit. Crossing the infamously choppy Drake Passage, which separates Argentina from the Antarctic peninsula, on a yacht may be a touch wilder than on a cruise ship or ice-breaker, but you’ll get to meander through icebergs, reach places that are not accessible to larger vessels, and ski virgin territory.
“For the adventurous at heart, climbing a virgin summit is a breathtaking prospect. And to then attach your skis and be the first person to ski down from the summit is just exciting beyond words,” said Chimu’s Chad Carey.
Kate Scott, who describes herself as a “travel stylist”, says for very wealthy clients, it’s often less about the destination and more about the experience – and they want to be one of the few to have it.
Scott’s enviable job is about knowing the right people and creating incredible possibilities.
“Anything and everything can be organised, your limit is your imagination – and how deep your pockets are,” she says.
“From private museum openings or UNESCO monument viewings, to private dining experiences with world-renowned chefs; from being king for a day with a royal palace stay, to staying in a Hollywood A lister’s private home – anything and everything can be organised.”
Here are her top suggestions for luxury holidays.
– Explore India’s national parks in search of the Bengal Tiger on a private jet safari. Estimated cost: from $35,000 per person for an 11-day journey.
– Spend the night glamping on your private Maldivian sandbank, complete with tented camp, candlelight dinner and seaplane transfers. Estimated cost: From $4600 per couple per night.
– Escape to your own Fijian private island, surrounded by coconut plantations and turquoise lagoon, with a resort for the exclusive use of yourself and your friends. Estimated cost: from $220,000 per night.
– Sleep under the stars in your luxury Lapland igloo and watch the Northern Lights from your bed, then heli-ski the Arctic from summit to sea. Estimated cost: from $10,100 per person for a four-night package.
– Charter a private super-yacht to explore the Galapagos Islands, complete with on board expert guides, chefs and butlers. Estimated cost: from $129,000 for a yacht for seven nights (max 18 people).
– Join a renowned photographer and wildlife expert for a private, up-close and personal lion encounter in the Masi Mara. Estimated cost: $15,600 per person for nine nights.
– Intergalactic travel is almost here. Sign up to be one of the first “civilians” to travel into space. Cost of deposit: $US250,000 ($A325,000).